The Complete Works of Tacitus: The Annals, Histories, Germania, Agricola, and Dialogue Concerning Oratory (Illustrated with TOC and Original Commentary)by Tacitus
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Most likely born in the south of modern France on the Mediterranean, Tacitus is one of the most famous Roman historians. Tacitus is best known for The Annals and Histories, covering the history of Ancient Rome in very minute detail, and he also wrote Germania, a fascinating description of the Germanic people as seen from the Roman point of view circa 100 A.D.
The Annals is a history of the reigns of the four Roman Emperors succeeding Caesar Augustus. The surviving parts of the Annals extensively cover most of the reigns of Tiberius and Nero. The Annals is also important to Christians as it confirms some of what is recorded in the Canonical gospels, although such confirmation has been challenged on the basis of its historicity in modern times.
Histories, written around 100–110, covers the Year of Four Emperors following the downfall of Nero, the rise of Vespasian, and the rule of the Flavian Dynasty (69–96) up to the death of Domitian. The fifth book contains—as a prelude to the account of Titus's suppression of the Great Jewish Revolt—a short ethnographic survey of the ancient Jews and along with the works of Josephus is one of the few Roman accounts of Roman attitudes toward the Jews.
Germania begins with a description of the lands, laws, and customs of the Germanic people (Chapters 1–27); it then segues into descriptions of individual tribes, beginning with those dwelling closest to Roman lands and ending on the uttermost shores of the Baltic, among the amber-gathering Aesti, the primitive and savage Fenni, and the unknown tribes beyond them.
Agricola (Latin: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae, lit. On the life and character of Julius Agricola) recounts the life of Tacitus’ father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general. It also covers the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain. As in the Germania, Tacitus favorably contrasts the liberty of the native Britons to the corruption and tyranny of the Empire; and the book also contains eloquent and vicious polemics against the rapacity and greed of Rome.
The Dialogue follows the tradition of Cicero's speeches on philosophical and rhetorical arguments. The beginning of the work is a speech in defence of eloquence and poetry. It then deals with the decadence of oratory, for which the cause is said to be the decline of the education, both in the family and in the school, of the future orator.
This edition of The Complete Works of Tacitus is specially formatted with a Table of Contents, an original introduction, and dozens of images of Tacitus and the people and places he covered.
- Charles River Editors
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